Bourboulenc. I just like the name of that grape. It kind of rolls off the tongue…bour-bouuuuuuuu-leeeeeeenc…….
Anyway, bourboulenc is a white variety that grows mostly in southern France and was the star grape for me at a recent tasting I went to hosted by AOC Languedoc Wines. Bourboulenc is the main variety used in Chateau d’Anglès La Clape’s Classique blanc 2010 (the rest of the blend being 40% grenache blanc, 5% marsanne, and 5% roussane). Everyone at the tasting jumped on this little jewel of a wine. Refreshing but fleshy, spicy and creamy but still retaining a structural integrity, this was a wine that was really hard to put down. I found it approachable but intriguing at the same time, my mouth flooded with the flavours of citrus and white fruits along with the minerality that comes from the soil. I found myself coming back to this wine again and again because it was just so morish! Usually, I tend to pick the most expensive wines at a tasting as my favourite but the Classique comes in at under a tenner (barely), £9.99 from the Wine Rack.
Later, at dinner, we had the Classique’s big brother, the Chateau d’Anglès La Clape 2008 Grand Vin. 40% bourboulenc, 20%grenache white, 20%roussane and 20% marsanne, the wine had spent 7 months on the lees and a further 2 years in old barrels. The result, a creamy and rich wine rolling around my palate. Not too creamy but a pleasure to drink, flavours of white peaches and nutty almond notes on the finish. It was still a powerful wine with èthe smells of the sea and the particular aromas of garrigue – the lavender, herbs and other wild things that grow in the south of France all mingling together on the nose. The wine was paired with baked sea scallops with seaweed, which turned out to highlight the iodine and mineral notes of the wine. A fresh wine that still has plenty of aging potential with a long and elegant finish. A great wine for a dinner party. The Grand Vin is available from Ocado, retailing at £19.99
I find the wines of the Languedoc very intriguing, especially the white wines. They have the capacity to surprise, not only because of the lesser known grapes known but also because of the value for money that you can find. The reds, I will have to save for another day….